The Sidori Gambit

The Other Side
In which the Coalition of Freedom decides upon a new course of action.

by The_Flax

Five figures were seated around a makeshift table, indistinct in the dim light, their complete privacy assured by the rocky walls and roof. They all had two things in common: they each wore more than two weapons, and they hated the Empire with a passion.

Shiri Torr, a green skinned Twi’lek in a tight fitting black jumpsuit, sat in a relaxed fashion, crossed legs resting on the table with her right hand repeatedly tossing and catching a vibrodagger. She was the nominal leader of the Coalition of Freedom, but in spite of the size of their fast growing organization, its structure remained fragmented. Those present here had either connived or muscled their way into power, sometimes both. As such, Shiri Torr, the youngest and most ruthless in the room, observed the rest in silence. Each looked at the others mutely, mimicking the Twi’lek and waiting to see who would commit themselves first. Finally, a smooth, relaxed voiced echoed through the small cavern.

“The Imps brought in bigger guns, or so I hear.”

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The Padawan

Posted by Darth Krzysztof

Twenty-nine years before the Battle of Yavin

“There is no emotion, there is peace,” said Tulu. “What does that mean?”

Zeva had heard the words all of her life, but no one had ever asked her that before. “Emotion is a falsehood,” Zeva said tentatively, fidgeting with her Padawan braid. It sounded stupid, but it was the first answer that came to mind, and she’d been taught to trust her instincts.

“Look around you, Zeva.” Tulu waved her arm at the vast lavender Fields of Banir, stretching out in all directions around the ruins of the Jedi Temple. After Tulu’s business on Dantooine had concluded, master and student had climbed to the Temple’s summit for this lesson. “Isn’t this place beautiful? Doesn’t it make your heart sing to be here?”

“It does.” Leaping before you looked, however, was always frowned upon, for reasons like this.

“Then try again. And don’t guess, this time.”

Zeva pursed her lips. “Emotion… is part of life. It is life. But the Jedi must be able to set her feelings aside… to remain at peace. Because anger and fear lead to the dark side.”

Tulu nodded. “Better, but it’s not just anger and fear. Even feelings of love can turn against you.”

“Love?” Zeva laughed. “Isn’t that just in stories? Jedi falling in ‘love’ and coming to horrible, tragic ends because of it?”

“No, Zeva. It’s not just in stories.” The master got to her feet and walked toward the steps down the Temple, stopping just at the edge. She turned her face to one of Dantooine’s moons; from her position, Zeva could see Tulu’s vestigial eye sockets. In two years of apprenticeship, she had never seen them before. They weren’t hideous, just… different. “You’ve seen enough of the world beyond the Temple to know that, now.”

“Maybe so, but that doesn’t mean that it happens to Jedi.”

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Sir

by Ellanutella

Eleven Years Ago

“Kes.”

The cockpit was a fairly tiny affair but larger…and a bit less shiny than she had been expecting, given how polished the outside was. Clean, to be sure, but the metal was dulled with a few years of use. A sign of a good ship, then, to have lasted a while and still be put together and working as well as was told. A pair of seats, pilot’s and co-pilot’s, were separated by a panel with screens on the surface. A pair of thin pipes ran along the wall, just below the ceiling. It all seemed very sturdy, well-built. Just a bit of polish when the captain wasn’t looking, and it could look like new.

“Kes!”

The dashboard glowed with many little lights, flickering colors. She tried to take them all in, eyes following them as one lit and another extinguished. Most of the buttons weren’t labeled – how would she ever be able to tell what they were? Blasters had a handful or two of buttons at most, easy enough to remember; this ship, and it was a small one, all things considered, had at least a hundred of them, and dials, too. But already, she had found a favorite button – a big, bright red one, one that she probably should not ever touch. Especially considering it was surrounded by glass.

“Oh, for the love of – Kes!”

Nalin touched her shoulder firmly. Kes turned around, tearing her eyes away from the console. She opened her mouth to demand what he wanted, but then realized to whom she was speaking and why she was here in the first place. She snapped her hand to her horned forehead in a sharp salute.

“Sir! Sorry, sir,” she said just barely suppressing a sheepish grin.

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The Youngling

Posted by Darth Krzysztof

Thirty-one years before the Battle of Yavin

The youngling emerged from the rotunda chapel to find a woman waiting for her, dressed in the brown robes of a Jedi, with the hood pulled down over her eyes. A smile crossed her lips as she said, rather than asked, “Zeva Vigil.”

“That’s me,” the youngling replied, the words touched with the accent she’d inherited from her clan’s Cathar warden. She brushed her bangs away from her eyes, taking a moment to look at the Jedi. “And you are Dambraya Tulu.”

“That’s right. I didn’t think they told you that.”

“They didn’t. We met before, once. When my clan won the tournament that year.”

“Really?” Tulu closed the distance between them. “That was five years ago.”

“Yes.”

“And you’re how old now? Ten?”

“Nine.”

“Are you now.”

“That’s right. And in all this time, I haven’t met any other Mirelurks.”

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Imperial Divisions
In which the Empire isn't as united as it appears

by The_Flax

Moff Yeagar swiveled around in his cushy chair and peered through the wall sized window pane behind his two guests. Gastogne’s Karakas mountain range was unremarkable in a galaxy filled with wonders, but Jeremiah Yeagar found the rocky peaks majestic and in a way, they made him think of himself, towering over their surroundings. To say Moff Yeagar was a powerful figure in the Sidori Cluster would be an understatement, Moff Yeagar was the penultimate authority in the Cluster and his word was law. That’s how it was in theory at least, in practice things were more… fluid.

The puffy Moff absently scratched the back of an earlobe and decided his guests had waited long enough to impress upon them his importance. He stared at the first of the two officers, Captain Irene Hayes, and realized his petty stratagems were lost on her. She sat straight like a duracrete pillar with her graying dark hair bundled severely behind her head, the expression of her angular, gaunt features, impassive and her gaze unflinching. Yet none of these were her defining characteristics, slowly Moff Yeagar’s stare drifted to the left side of her face, completely covered in burn scars and he almost gaped, for the scarring seemed much lighter in her profile.

The nervous smile of the second officer, Captain Crip Hokum, managed to bring him back to reality as he turned to consider his associate. Hokum had been operating with him here for the better part of year and the young blond man had already started losing his lean form and the telling crispness of every young officer straight out of the academy. Unlike Hayes, a rare breed, Hokum hadn’t been promoted for his competence and he would probably make Admiral before the older woman, something that had not been lost on Moff Yeagar who already had the young Captain deep in his pocket.

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